The Contributions of Computer Music Pioneer Knut Wiggen

Joran Rudi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Knut Wiggen (1927-2016) was active in Stockholm as director of the concert organization Fylkingen (1959-69) and as the founding director of Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) (1964-75). These positions gave him enormous influence in Swedish contemporary music at the time, but following his departure, his achievements were quickly abandoned when the studio changed focus towards more conventional tape-based composition. The reasons for this abrupt change have previously been discussed, as has the broader outlines of his work,[1] and recent research has focused on the thoughts that guided his entire development of the hybrid studio and resulted in his radical composition software MusicBox.[2] MusicBox has not previously been presented for the computer music community, much due to the fact that EMS discontinued the development upon Wiggen's departure in 1975, and because Wiggen brought the code with him when he left. This article describes Wiggen's achievements in an international perspective, and gives an overview of the composition method employed in MusicBox in one of his published musical studies. A more detailed analysis can be found in [3]. The consequent radicalism in Wiggen's thinking is striking, as is his understanding of why new technology needed to be appropriated in the arts, and if this presentation helps lifting Wiggen's contributions from obscurity into the canon of early computer music pioneers, it has been successful.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICMC 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Computer Music Conference
PublisherInternational Computer Music Association
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)0984527478, 9780984527472
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 International Computer Music Conference - Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 5 Aug 201810 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Computer Music Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2223-3881


Conference2018 International Computer Music Conference
Abbreviated titleICMC 2018
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


Dive into the research topics of 'The Contributions of Computer Music Pioneer Knut Wiggen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this